Westport Innovations Inc., a provider of alternative fuel, low-emissions transportation technologies, has entered into an agreement with General Motors to help develop advanced natural gas engine technology for light duty vehicles (LDVs). Both General Motors and Westport will bring their extensive expertise to develop natural gas engine controls, emissions and performance strategies.
“We are excited to work with GM and invest in advanced natural gas technology for the automotive market,” said Ian Scott, President of Westport’s Light-Duty Division. “This technology offers the promises of a cleaner, lower cost fuel and reduced carbon footprint, while advancing the use of domestic energy. This agreement demonstrates Westport’s success as an advanced technology partner to global automotive manufacturers. Westport’s recent announcement regarding the planned acquisition of Emer S.p.A., of Italy, is an integral part of our strategy to provide partners, such as GM, with the most advanced integrated solutions.”
To support its focus on research and development Westport is opening a new Technical Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Starting with 15 Westport personnel, staff and facilities will be expanded as demand grows for natural gas-powered, alternative-fuel vehicles.
“Natural gas is 97% North American sourced and much less expensive than gasoline or diesel fuels,” according to John Lapetz, Westport’s Light-Duty Division Managing Director, North American Vehicle Programs. “It also produces about 15 – 20% less CO2 than those fuels.”
“Hybridization, lower-displacement with turbo charging, direct injection and other fuel-saving technologies now being applied to gasoline and diesel engines, can also be applied to natural gas fueled engines for even greater improvements in efficiency and fuel cost savings,” Lapetz added.
This article compiled using information from a Westport Innovations Inc. press release.